Altrincham, Garrick Playhouse
22 May 2017
Annie opened at the Garrick on Monday night. Hale and Altrincham Life’s Nigel Carr caught the musical which features a host of local acting and singing talent, and reports back below.
The musical opens to slides depicting the Great Depression following the Wall Street crash in 1929. Hooverville, the homeless persons village that grew up in Central Park, New York was a shanty town constructed of cardboard, tar paper, glass, wood, tin and whatever other materials people could find. It’s 1933 and President Herbert Hoover has just been replaced by F D Roosevelt.
Annie played by Caitlin Reeves, the eponymous red headed central character is a child in the Hudson Street Orphanage where she has been since 1922. The play opens with the all the children making the most of life in the cramped dormitory faux kowtowing to the evil Miss Hannigan, the conniving, gin swilling supervisor.
The plot follows Annie’s escape from the Orphanage and her planned adoption by Oliver Warbucks, the billionaire industrialist owner of a number of factories, who doesn’t seem to have fared too badly in the crash. Friends with the president and a host of other famous politicians and sportsmen, (‘how’d you like to meet Babe Ruth? – Annie, erm?’). He is played by Richard Sails, who brings warmth and gravitas to the boy from the wrong side of town made good.
The children’s singing is completely professional and hugely entertaining. From the opening It’s a Hard Knock Life and the highlight You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile, with accompanying dance routine and acrobatics.
Special mention must be made of Caitlin who never misses a beat and Sasha Carrillo de Albornoz as Warbucks’ PA Grace, whose incredible range and tone is on the scale of a young Julie Andrews. Frankly all of the children deserve a special mention as they were just so enchanting and entertaining!
Laura Aremia’s portrayal of the drunken Miss Hannigan is hilarious – she staggers around the stage, managing an almost calamitous curtsy to the wheelchair bound president.
With song after familiar song including Tomorrow and Easy Street, spot on American accents and a hyperactive shaggy Dulux dog, the musical went down a storm. The audience was on its feet at the end in a well deserved standing ovation.
You can catch Annie until Saturday 27th May but hurry, tonight was sold out but there are some tickets available mid week!
BOX OFFICE 0161 928 1677
Online at Altrincham Garrick website (not mobiles)